By Tony Attwood
Imaginary Future is the indie folk project of Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Jesse Epstein. Influenced in his youth by the records of Simon and Garfunkel, Epstein pairs acoustic guitar and vocals from his wife and fellow musician, Kina Grannis.
Here is Times they are a changin’
Now if you are a regular reader you may have realised that “Times they are a changin'” is one of my least favourite of all the world-famous Dylan songs. And just in case you haven’t come across my rant on the subject, I’ll summarise briefly…
“Times” is seen by most of the public at large, journalists, commentators, and even some hard-core Dylan fans, as a protest song. But even a brief study of the lyrics shows this is not so – what the song says is that our world is changing irrespective of any action taken by people; it is in fact just happening. If there is a philosophy here it is that of stocism – the view that stuff happens, but we have little or no control over it.
For me, Dylan fans jumping up and down and applauding when Dylan gets to the end of the verse and says “Times they are a changin” is about as bizarre as it can get.
Indeed most cover versions of this song continue the tradition of implying that times are changing because of what we, the people, are doing.
But here, in this rendition from Imaginary Future, it seems to me that the true meaning of the lyrics is finally, at last, after all these years, expressed in the music. This is how “Times” needs to be performed to put across what the lyrics say.
An excellent performance, in my personal view, and I’m delighted to be able to include it here.
Imaginary Future have their own website at which you can listen to their music, shop for t-shirts and their album, or indeed become a patron.
If you have a suggestion for a performance of a Dylan song, or a Dylan related song, or a song in the style of Dylan, by a comparatively unknown singer or band, please email Tony@schools.co.uk with a link to the performance on line and any background information you have.
Previously in this series…
- Untold Dylan showcase: Make you feel my love – Jüri Aidas
- The Untold Bob Dylan Showcase: Forever Young, Brian Houston
What else is on the site?
We have a very lively discussion group “Untold Dylan” on Facebook with over 3400 active members. (Try imagining a place where it is always safe and warm). Just type the phrase “Untold Dylan” in, on your Facebook page or follow this link
You’ll find some notes about our latest posts arranged by themes and subjects on the home page of this site. You can also see details of our main sections on this site at the top of this page under the picture.
The index to all the 599 Dylan compositions and co-compositions that we have found on the A to Z page.
If you are interested in Dylan’s work from a particular year or era, your best place to start is Bob Dylan year by year.
On the other hand if you would like to write for this website, or indeed have an idea for a series of articles that the regular writers might want to have a go at, please do drop a line with details of your idea, or if you prefer, a whole article to Tony@schools.co.uk
And please do note our friends at The Bob Dylan Project, which lists every Dylan song in alphabetical order, and has links to licensed recordings and performances by Dylan and by other artists, plus links back to our reviews (which we do appreciate).